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This is very serious. I don't know what a "class 1 town highway" or a "class 4 town highway" is in Vermont, but I imagine they'd be able to restrict some roads we'd like to use if Minnesota adopted such a law.

In most cases, the roads the Ojibwe Forests Rally uses to get into the forest are controlled by the DNR. However, there are a few places where we need to travel on township roads to get there. Akeley Cutoff, for instance, would be eliminated if we couldn't use the township road to get there.

Or what if they wouldn't let us use the city streets to get to the Akeley School (this year's service location)?

Ojibwe, the Chippewa Trail or the Tombstone Trail could require permits from 20 or 30 different townships.

And this is all assuming we'd still be unrestricted on state and county roads.

A logging truck or a milk truck (or even a school bus) impacts the roads and the safety of the community more in a year than all the rallies that would be run. A school bus travels the same roads 400 times a year. A milk truck does it 200 times. Both are immensely more dangerous than a rally car. We're getting picked on, here.

Vermonters, you have to fight this for all of us.

On Apr 1, 2005, at 11:13 AM, Tim Winker wrote:

Anders Green posted this on the SCCA Road Rally list. If it passes there,
other states may follow.

Have you guys seen this:

http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/legdoc.cfm?URL=/docs/2006/bills/intro/H-421.HTM
 

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Four tree two remember Andrew
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Mark:

Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to:

(1) Define an ?organized motor vehicle event.?

(2) Clarify that the approval of the secretary of transportation is not required when municipalities act to restrict or control uses of class 4 town highways and trails.

(3) Set forth the provisions for conducting an organized motor vehicle event.

With the caveat that I do not know the reasoning behind the proposed law, the statement of purpose would indicate to me that the local townships (or whatever they are in VT) are trying to make it simpler for them to approve a motorsports event, instead of the organizers having to go through the State Secretary of Transportation and the bureaucracy that involves. Its a lot easier to get a road permit from local officials than it is from state officials, because the local officials are aware of and benefit from the economic impact of the event.

"Restricting and controlling uses of class 4 town highways" says to me "shut down for use of motorsports events" not "disallow motorsports events."

Just my .02 from a plain reading of the bill.

Since there are no rallies in Vermont anyway, maybe the hillclimbers can shed some light.

Wilson
 

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Four tree two remember Andrew
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This reminds me of the time the DEC shut down one of our ice races. The officer didn't know what laws were being broken, but had concluded that "everyone is having too much fun, so it must be illegal".

He finally used the threat that unless all the unregistered motor vehicles were not back on their trailers and off the ice in 15 minutes, tickets would be issued.

The ice was pretty bad at that point, so everyone left.

It was not one of our regular venues.
 

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Mä meen vittu sinne!
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I guess I get a little long winded at times. The form only allows 1000 characters (####) so I ended up faxing mine to their office but I would recommend everyone send something opposing HB-421. Imagine 100AW where we literally pass near about 30 different towns. That could potentially kill an event just from the multiple permit costs and the threat of denial.

http://www.vermont.gov/governor/contact.html

Dear Governor Douglas,
I am writing this letter to you in regards to House Bill 421 regarding the use of public roads for motor vehicle events. This bill aims to restrict the use of roads and permit organized motor vehicle events to occur only after filing for permits with any and all townships that would be affected by the event. If this bill passes it will create a precedent that could have huge and drastic consequences for both the state of Vermont and people involved in automobile groups. While such events are not an everyday event, they are generally hobbyists and enthusiasts of particular brands that enjoy driving, socializing, and taking expeditions to new and beautiful parts of the country. During the summer here in Colorado there are multiple numbers of events held every single weekend. Whether it be the BMW Club, Audi club, Mini club, Harley club, etc. these groups enjoy their excursions into beautiful areas of our nation. As an Economic Analyst with the Colorado Department of Labor I can tell you that these small events help stimulate the economy of the towns they visit by purchasing soveigners, food, gas, and occasionally rooms. One small town in Missouri, Salem, hosts a National Rally every year. For this one weekend every single hotel in town is booked and many competitors and spectators travel 1000s of miles to come to this one event. There are events held in 5 different towns in the region over the two days of the event. The event however passes through possibly 20-30 different townships of very low population. A law of this sort would require only one township to ruin this event. While I understand the needs of the local communities, being from a small town myself (Casper, Wyoming), and their perception of these events as being damaging to their local roads I know for fact this presumption is false. Recreational hiking, logging trucks, school buses, milk trucks, etc. cause the majority of damage to roads due to their frequent and daily use of these routes. To blame it on one group and punish many for this kind of activity is not the correct solution. I know that many adults treat automobile clubs and these events as social gatherings to meet and make new friends and often business accomplices. These are generally not for profit groups and are usually run by unpaid individuals in their spare time. Please don?t ruin this for us Americans. Thank you for your time.
Sincerely,
Grant Hughes
Economic/Statistical Analyst
Colorado Department of Labor
Denver, CO
 

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eating dust taking photos
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My message:

House Bill 421 poses a grave economic threat not just to Vermont but large portions of the United States as a whole. One can debate the environmental impact of close course motorsports event, but in making any argument against closed course motorsports one must also consider the impact of mail trucks, school busses, and residential vehicles too. For perspective a mail truck will pass over a road 312 times a year surely that has a great impact than some hobbyists on a couple weekends a year. The passing of this law would allow one township, some of these events would require permits from 30+ townships, to prevent an event, this would prevent 90-300+ visitors to an area; that?s 40-200+ accommodations for 2+ nights, 270-900+ meals restaurants and grocers won?t be providing per day for 2+ days, that?s 90-300+ consumers that won?t be coming and buying gas, clothing, or other local goods. These events can inject thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars into communities with such minimal impact.



Stupid 1,000 characters.
 

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Left seat and not British!
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What's missing from this whole analysis (until Grant's letter) is some estimate of the local economic impact. Opponents of this opposition (a double negative that works!) would be well advised to enlist the help of the local area, county, and community economic development leaders. At Trespassers Wil this year the local State Representative gave an impromptu speech on the phenomenal economic impact bringing TW/100AW to this area in February when ABSOLUTLEY NO MONEY IS FLOWING has. And he's on the State's tourism committee.

This does not stop the unbelievably vocal 6 people who get totally upset every year and write PAGES of nasty letters to the papers (who dutifully print each one) that makes it look like Rallyists take turns at seeing how close we can come to the pre-teen daughters of the farmers who are staked to the ground at every intersection.

Fortunately the County Commissioners for the most part clearly understand the benefits and choose to lose those few votes and continue to support the events.

As a matter of record, BTW, we have run in 5 counties over the past 4 years. A sixth county has now approached US to be included in the 2006 edition. Tom and I have a meeting with them next week.

Kim DeMotte
Official Old Fart, etc.
 

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Just found this tidbit and sent it to the gov.

CUMBERLAND, MD - The National Road Weekend resulted in the purchase of approximately 400 room nights over first weekeknd in June and direct spending in our community of $160,000!

Using a standard industry multiplier of 3X, the economic impact of the third annual NRR weekend is estimated at $480,000. National Road President John Felten recently attended a work session of the Allegany County Commissioners, delivered checks to local non-profit organizations and presented the commissioner with a symbolic check for the $480,000 amount of this year?s economic impact.

Non-profit contributions went out to the Allegany County Animal Shelter Foundation, the Allegany County Library, Cumberland Towne Centre Development Commission and the Allegany County Fairgrounds. $1,200 of those gifts came from the net proceeds of the NRR Charity Dinner Auction. National Road Autosport provided the remaining $800.
 

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>As a matter of record, BTW, we have run in 5 counties over the
>past 4 years. A sixth county has now approached US to be
>included in the 2006 edition. Tom and I have a meeting with
>them next week.


That is outstanding Kim. Congratulations.

As for the Vermont issue...you might want to be careful using the word "motorsports" in your letters. The measure is aimed at dual-sport rides which are non-competitive. Talking about the "motoring hobby" and its economic impact doesn't plant the idea of race cars and motorcycles popping wheelies on the city streets as in the minds of the clueless as often as "motorsports" does.

Just a suggestion.

Thanks for writing the letters!
 

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eating dust taking photos
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>>As a matter of record, BTW, we have run in 5 counties over
>the
>>past 4 years. A sixth county has now approached US to be
>>included in the 2006 edition. Tom and I have a meeting with
>>them next week.
>
>
>That is outstanding Kim. Congratulations.
>
>As for the Vermont issue...you might want to be careful using
>the word "motorsports" in your letters. The measure is aimed
>at dual-sport rides which are non-competitive. Talking about
>the "motoring hobby" and its economic impact doesn't plant the
>idea of race cars and motorcycles popping wheelies on the city
>streets as in the minds of the clueless as often as
>"motorsports" does.
>
>Just a suggestion.
>
>Thanks for writing the letters!



Regrettably the 1,000 character limit drastically modified my statement. Had the limit been more intune with the 2700 character letter I originally wrote it would be more along the lines of motorized enthusiasts and less motorsports. Working within the limit I chose to counter the point that held the greatest negative conotation.
 

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Mä meen vittu sinne!
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Exactly why I left motorsports out all together and made sure to mention BMW, Audi, and such. I was trying to throw something in about rich doctors and lawyers going out on weekend drives but couldn't quite fit it in.
 

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Grant,
Thanks for providing the link to the Govenor of Vermont. I have competed many times in the Covered Bridge TSD Rally in Vermont. And this past winter I competed in John Buffum's Vermont Winter Rally - now that was a great rally!

I have sent the Govenor a note objecting to this bill. Please everybody do the same. It all helps!

Steve McKelvie
Franklin, MA
 

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I think Kim has it. I think Rally will not survive without local support. Finding a way to make local folks (especially those who are decision makers) excitited about rally coming to their area is vital. I feel that organizers should go out of their way to bring in as many local decision makers as possible and make them feel a part of the process. It also means competitors NEVER forgetting that we are guests and need to act the part.
 
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In order to conduct a successful event, you need to have
the local Sheriff, local and state police, town and
county governments, and local civic and business organizations
behind the event many months before you hold the event.

Furthermore, you need support and involvement from all
these organizations DURING the event. We have done all this.

If you do this, the problems like the one described in the
foregoing are non-existent.

Ivan Orisek
Rally New York
 
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Re: Economic Impact

We have conservatively calculated, and our numbers have been
approved by the Sullivan County Visitors Association, a unit
of the Sullivan County, NY Government, that each of the
two Rally New York events contributed a minimum of $200,000
to the local economy in the calendar year 2004.

Ivan Orisek
Rally New York
International Rally New York
 

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here is my 1000 word letter to Jim Douglas:

Dear Governor Douglas, I am writing to express my concerns over the proposed bill known as HB-421. This bill limits the ability for motor vehicle gatherings of any type to occur in an organized fashion within the state of Vermont. The bill requires any group wishing to have an organized motor vehicle event in the state of Vermont to gain approval from all towns along the proposed route. As an automotive and motorcycle enthusiast I feel that this bill will negatively impact the Vermont economy. Each year the state hosts hundreds of small events where organized groups of people legally travel the state highways, class three and four roads, and trails in a non competitive format. These people spend thousands of dollars on food, fuel, and lodging. Many towns rely heavily on these events for their influx of income. I feel this bill will adversely affect groups it targets and residents of our beautiful state. This bill violates the rights of Vermonters and visitors to our state.


I ask everyone, vermont resident or not, to email our governor. This is realy a crafty way to close trails to off road recreation. This entire bill was put forth by a small group of people in 2 towns who cause a lot of unjust trouble last summer for a dual sport motorcycle ride. I suspect that the people involved have a list of irrational fears and concerns that are driving this bill. Instead of learning more about these events, they are trying to slide a bill through the house that would give them a legal standing to block future events. I suspect that if the rolls royce club of the world wanted to hold a high speed event on their roads they would not hesitate to accept. But a group of middle aged dual sport motorcyclists passing through is equivalent to the hells angels....they will steal our stuff and rape our women. I have seen reactions from "certain town members" in my local town when a group of people tried to open a farm/ summer camp for inner city kids. These certain people fought this with every ounce of energy they had. In the end the camp went through and all was good. But the people fighting it were old and rich beyond comprehension and were probably thinking....you want to bring inner city kids here? well they must be theives and gang members....like it little as I do....this is often the warped perception that people get when they either dont take the time to do background research, or they dont want to.

rant off.
Seth Strait
Vermont Resident for 28 years. (native)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
>In order to conduct a successful event, you need to have
>the local Sheriff, local and state police, town and
>county governments, and local civic and business organizations
>
>behind the event many months before you hold the event.
>
>Furthermore, you need support and involvement from all
>these organizations DURING the event. We have done all this.
>
>If you do this, the problems like the one described in the
>foregoing are non-existent.

Ivan:

All true, and we have an excellent relationship with the DNR, county and law enforcement officials in our area. However, there is one group of homeowners who would do anything to put us out of business. They view the lake they surround as their personal property, and don't like anyone but themselves driving on the road that passes the lake (which is the only road into one particular area of the forest we run at Ojibwe).

It's not just us. They hate the loggers, the snowmobilers, and especially the ATVers. They even despise the DNR because they're too motor vehicle friendly. A law like this in Minnesota could put us out of business by giving the township the authority to deny us a permit. Taking the Vermont bill literally, I suppose they could prevent a family of 6 from riding snowmobiles together. We might even need a permit to pre-check our rally with more than 5 cars.

I don't think a bill like this would have a chance of passing in Minnesota, but it's the kind of thing that seems to get attached to some other bill and snuck in under the wire. Then legislation creep takes over and it spreads.

That's why I'm so concerned about this bill.
 

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While I agree this knee-jerk bill needs to be defeated, it might in fact be useful for people to understand what a town class 4 road is.

Here is a link: http://www.nvda.net/transportation/townrdsclass.html

Basically it any road maintained by a town that cant be classified higher. Towns tend to want roads to be class 1, 2 and 3 because state aid is higher for them.
 
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Mark:

<It's not just us. They hate the loggers, the snowmobilers, and <especially the ATVers. They even despise the DNR because they're too <motor vehicle friendly. A law like this in Minnesota could put us <out of business by giving the township the authority to deny us a <permit. Taking the Vermont bill literally, I suppose they could <prevent a family of 6 from riding snowmobiles together. We might <even need a permit to pre-check our rally with more than 5 cars.

In New York State, we already have the law you fear and we have
had it for decades. As the oldtimers told us: "You cannot have
a rally within 90 miles of New York City. They used add, wrongly,
that speed contests on public roads are specifically prohibited
by law in the State of New York."

Let it be known that in New York State, every municipality has the
jurisdiction over the roads within the municipality, be it town,
county or state roads. That is to say, when we want to have
a stage in a particular town, we have to obtain a special use road
permit from the municipality. This is a long process that involves
several rounds of public hearings and can take up to one year.
If the road crosses or borders a state forest preserve, a special
permit from the department of Environmetal Conservation is required.

New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law 1182 specifically authorizes
speed constest and races on public roads assuming that certain
conditions are met such as
1. The road is closed and efficiently patrolled for the entire
distance, and
2. All involved parties, such as municipalities, county government,
Sheriff, loacl police, state police, department of transportation,
citizens groups, etc. give consent.

Under Law 1182-a. pertaining to multi-judrisdictional speed contest,
races and similar special events, which applies to an event involving
more that one New York county (which we have done), "...the organIzer
shall apply, in writing, to the department of transportation for
consideration to conduct such an event. Such application shall be
reviewed by the commissioner of transportation, the commissioner of
economic development and the superintendent of state police, or their
designees. ONLY IF SUCH PERSONS UNANIMOUSLY AGREE THAT THE PROPOSED
EVENT SHOULD TAKE PLACE, THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SHALL
CONTINUE THE REVIEW PROCESS AND SHALL ESTABLISH SUCH REASONABLE
REQUIREMENTS AS ARE NECESSARY TO PROTECT PUBLIC SAFETY."
 
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Mark:

<...ONLY IF SUCH PERSONS UNANIMOUSLY AGREE THAT THE PROPOSED
<EVENT SHOULD TAKE PLACE, THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SHALL
<CONTINUE THE REVIEW PROCESS AND SHALL ESTABLISH SUCH REASONABLE
<REQUIREMENTS AS ARE NECESSARY TO PROTECT PUBLIC SAFETY."

As you can imagine, as a result of these procedures, we have been
constantly losing stage roads and gaining new ones through
a continuing process of seeking new permits.

You lose roads primarily because of residents' opposition.
You can almost always persuade the government based on the
economic benefits (for our verified economic benefits see
one of the above messages).

Giving the jurisdiction over their roads to municipalities
would be the most natural and proper thing to do. Furthermore,
I do not think that such law would put you out of business.
You need to work with all the municipalities and not behind
or around them and you need to have their support for a successful
rally.

Such approach should be consistent with moving away from events run
in the backwoods just for fun, praying that nobody notices
them and going toward well publicized, sponsored events supported
by local municipalities, local governments, and local civic and
business organizations on the account of the economic benefits
rally events generate for the area.

Ivan Orisek
Rally New York
International Rally New York
 
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